The blasting bellow of the significant .44 shocked me when my ideal index finger instinctively tightened on the trigger the bear’s violent reaction and subsequent zero to 30 mph rush, whilst just a blur, clearly indicated I had connected. Straining to hear the inform-tale moan of a dying bear yielded only the cacophony of a yapping pack of distant coyotes. My black bear quest, which had been eight lengthy years in the creating, had boiled down to a handful of surreal seconds.
A Wisconsin black bear license is a hard gig to get and calls for a lot of years of applying, that is the undesirable news. The very good news is that Wisconsin, right after years of cautious management now delivers a accomplishment price larger than 50% for fortunate hunters who draw a tag, as properly as a shot at record book animals. Our state bear management group, headed by significant game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang, is operating challenging to keep a higher good quality hunt whilst meticulously managing and monitoring bear numbers. Other states may perhaps supply additional frequent hunting possibilities, but handful of can rival the accomplishment prices for Wisconsin hunters.
Handgun hunting may perhaps in no way be as well known as rifle or bowhunting but for a challenge and adrenaline rush it is second to none, and bear hunting more than bait is a fantastic way to get bruins up close and private. When I ultimately drew a tag for the September 2012 hunt, I started creating plans to hunt on our household house up in Douglas County. I would be packing my Smith and Wesson Model 629 Classic chambered in .44 magnum.
My initial process was discovering an helpful factory load which would pack the needed punch to energy by way of a bear’s thick fur, fat, muscle and bone. I had employed 225- 250 grain ammo to down many Wisconsin whitetails but felt the want to go a bit heavier. Following carrying out some analysis my selections boiled down to 3 solutions, Hornady 300 grain XTPs, Speer 270 grain Gold Dots, and Federal Premium 280 grain Swift A Frames. I decided to go with the Federals, and sighted in for 25 yards which was the self-imposed maximum variety that I would try a shot.
My subsequent step was to set up a stand, and place into spot an helpful baiting regimen. To aid me with that process I tapped the experience of Floyd Gasser, owner of Significant Woods Bear Baits which is positioned in Oconto Falls.
Floyd provided up the following guidance: in wilderness or remote regions, scents such as anise and bacon are fine, but in additional pressured places exactly where bear have had prior encounters with hunters, they come to be conditioned and may perhaps even associate these smells with danger. Floyd’s guidance was to attempt one thing distinct, and his Significant Woods Bait Co. delivers a smorgasbord of baits and scents which have been employed effectively all through the U.S. and Canada.
Floyd also suggests fall bear hunters commence baiting in early spring anytime feasible. Male bears may perhaps do a lot of traveling through the spring mating season and the odds a significant boy may perhaps stumble upon your picnic basket are larger at that time. He will not quickly overlook a meals supply, and may perhaps claim, stake out, and use your buffet all through the year.
Sadly, Floyd’s guidance had come to me as well late for an early commence to baiting and it was late July when I and my father ultimately loaded up a trailer complete of Floyd’s cuisine and produced our trek north to set up a stand. The hollowed out log I had bought from Significant Woods served the dual objective of holding my bait and supplied a measuring stick to judge the size of going to diners. In spite of the late commence, trail cam photographs quickly revealed that a quantity of clients have been routinely going to my sight such as many decent sized ones.
Scent manage, or the lack thereof, can either make or break meticulously laid plans, and regardless of my efforts to do so, I failed to stay anonymous when the bear at the starting of my story came to pay a visit to. Circling my stand to come in downwind, the old sow cautiously approached my bait, then laid down like a significant Lab at its supper dish and started licking the bottom of the bait log. Seconds later, she abruptly stood up on her hind legs sticking her snout higher in the air. I knew I was busted when she promptly dropped to all fours, and turned to stare straight at me regardless of my concealment perched higher amongst the trees.
While walking hurriedly back into the dense foliage from whence she appeared we in no way broke eye get in touch with that was when months of mental practice and muscle memory elicited the surprise trigger break, and regardless of my fears more than the lack of a death moan, a 30 minute wait and subsequent fifty yard tracking job ended with one particular really dead, double lung shot bear. The 280 grain Swift had carried out its job getting into behind the close to shoulder and exiting the far, leaving a wake of broken ribs in the course of action. Although not a monster, field dressed she would tip the scales at 240 pounds and offer a lot of bacon for the freezer.
Producing the hunt even additional memorable was the truth that it was one particular of the final hunts with my dad prior to his passing. I haven’t pulled the trigger on my Smith and Wesson considering that it is tucked away safely in my gun protected along with six remaining 280 grain Federals, awaiting my subsequent bear tag, and hopefully a different Wisconsin handgun hunt for bear!